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I Brand Cabernet Franc Bayly Ranch is made from 100% Cabernet Franc.
This 100% Cabernet Franc is produced from vineyards located in Tres Pinot Creek, (along San Andreas Fault Line), at only 800 foot elevation. A great locale for Cabernet Franc to exhibit Loire-like structure overlaid with the bright fruit befitting California sunshine.
"This is a sprightly, textural, mineral-driven bottling that's immediately fascinating yet will be a joy to watch evolve. Light in the glass, it begins with aromas of cranberry, nori wrap, herb-dusted strawberry and a hint of dried blood. The palate shows a rusty edge, offering dried strawberry, crumpled oregano and a hint of green peppercorn. Drink now through 2034. - Matt KETTMANN"
- Wine Enthusiast (Septmember 1st 2021), 94 pts
They did not set out to make these wines. They discovered great vineyards at the edge of sensible farming and decided to bring them to light.
The farther they looked, the more they found – remote, challenging vineyards, with hard depleted soils, and intense sunlight tempered only by the coastal breeze. Vineyards capable of producing only the most idiosyncratic wines. Their goal as winemakers is to lightly polish the roughest edges and leave the idiosyncrasy intact. It is here in the back country, filled with individual character, where Le P’tit Paysan comes to life.
Ian Brand's first winery job was in the lab and cellar at Bonny Doon Winery in Santa Cruz. Ian was Vineyard Manager and Assistant Winemaker at Big Basin Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains for four years before he and Heather began their own project.
In the growing sites I Brand Family Winery looks for shallow, rocky soils, good site selection and proper varietal match with the soil and climate. The often overlooked greater Monterey Bay Area has a plethora of underappreciated, rocky vineyards.
Fellom Ranch, Bates Ranch, Besson, Summers, Wheeler, Brigantino, Bayly Ranch, Enz, Brosseau, Spur Ranch, Kristy, Quail Run, La Belle Rose, Cedar Lane, Mission Ranch, Escolle, Arroyo Seco Canyon, Los Ositos.
Brosseau (cert organic)
Enz (practicing organic, dry farmed)
Besson (dry farmed)
Bates (dry farmed)
Sustainable: Kristy, Bayly, Quail Run, Los Ositos.
Fayolle Crozes-Hermitage Rouge Cuvee Nicolas is made from 100 percent Syrah.
Deep ruby red color. Nose of red and black currant fruits, pepper, spring flowers, new leather and mineral/earthy nuances. Medium bodied palate of red fruit and spice. Nice balance. Long finish and velvety.
"Boasting even more striking aromas of blueberries, violets and peppery spice than the La Rochette bottling, the 2018 Crozes-Hermitage La Cuvee Nicolas is almost Côte-Rôtie-like. Medium to full-bodied without seeming at all heavy, ripe without being overdone, silky and fine from start to finish, it's a real beauty and a testament to the potential of the commune of Gervans - a small granitic outpost within the Crozes-Hermitage appellation. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (May 13th 2021), 93 pts
Kynsi Pinot Noir Edna Valley is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
The Edna Valley was one of the first registered appellations in California and boasts a rich agrarian history. The coastal terrain features varied soil types that are predominantly marine in origin, with ancient volcanic influences. The unusual transverse ranges allows the appellation to open up to the cooling breezes of the Pacific Ocean from nearby Morro Bay and Pismo Beach. The climate is strongly influenced by the ocean providing ideal, temperate growing conditions for Pinot Noir. Early spring warming, mild summer temperatures and late arriving cold fall temperatures and rain provide a long growing season for the development of rich color with concentrated and complex flavors.
Light berry and cherry aromas are fresh, crisp and inviting on the nose of this wine, which also offers light vanilla and star anise notes. There is a decent structure to the palate, where strong acidity cuts against the fruity flavors, and baking spice warms the tart finish.
-Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
Bastgen Kestener Paulinshofberg Riesling Spatlese is 100 percent Riesling.
Yellow color with green highlights.
Beautiful peach aromas on the nose, rich and ripe fruits on the mouth with a refreshing acidity and honey notes. A very pleasing wine.
They meticulously tend 4.5 ha (11.11 acres) of which 80% is Riesling. The soil is made of slate. Their vineyards are located in Kesten and Brauneberg, on a steep terrace, and planted to 50-year old vines. Fortunately for Bastgen, they own part of the famous Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr. The vines produce very small, ripe berries that are very tasty.
- Wine Enthusiast (April 2021), 93 pts
FEL Anderson Valley Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Lifted floral aromatics waft from the glass of this citrus-driven Chardonnay. Notes of lemon zest, white grapefruit, and Key lime, are complemented by hints of juniper, struck flint, and melon. The blend of citrus flavors continues in the mouth with an abundance of fresh lemon and orange zest. The juicy finish is carried by notes of lemon balm with zippy acidity.
Fresh, vibrant fruit aromas and flavors drive this full-bodied and well-balanced wine. It floods the palate with flavors of crisp apple, ripe pear and a touch of pineapple while subtle hints of baking spice play in the background.
- Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
Baron Ermengaud Faugeres Rouge is made from 80% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 5%, Mourvèdre and 5% Carignan.
The Baron Ermengaud cuvée is named after the lord Ermengaud de Fouzilhon. In the 12 century, the Lord gave land, which was located in Laurens Village, to monks, who built a monastic barn. The monks (Benedictine and then Cistercian) used to cultivate the vineyards, using techniques that were quite wise and modern at the time. The people of Laurens enjoyed and benefited from learning their methods.
This Faugeres is dark red with shades of black cherry. A large complexity of aromas allows us to savor a mix of sun fruits and spices. This powerful and full-bodied wine, with a deep consistency, offers an intensity of ripe fruits. It has a long, rich palate on velvety tannins with raised hints of pepper.
Pairs with roast saddle of lamb with juniper berries; peppered venison with pears.
"Les Crus Faugères is the only cooperative in this appellation, managing 2,223 acres or nearly half of Faugères’ vines. It puts out a vast array of labels, including Mas Olivier, also recommended here, but Baron Ermengaud was the standout for both its 2019 and 2018 reds. Mostly syrah (80 percent), with grenache, carignan and mourvèdre, all of it hand-harvested off schist parcels, the 2019 shines in its combination of earthiness and brightness. Lively acidity and herbal notes give it a just-picked freshness that energizes the red fruit; the clarity allows a clear view of the earth, too, in shades of schist and iron. It tastes like it’s from a place, with a sense of sun and garrigue that’s transporting."
Wine & Spirits Magazine (June 2021), 94 points
Chakana Estate Malbec is made from 100 percent Malbec.
hakana is the name of the Southern Cross constellation. Its rotation in the sky throughout the year made it an effective agricultural calendar for the ancient Andean people.
The "yaguarete" (jaguar) on the label was known by the ancient Andean people as the "lord of the starred night"; the wildest known animal.
Chakana Estate Malbec is from Chakana's Altamira (3,200 ft elevation) and Gualtallary (5,500 ft elevation) vineyards.
The color is deep purple, very intense, typical of Malbec. Plum, brambly berries, spices and an iris/violet note are apparent on the nose. Intense, fruity flavors with velvety tannins.
"The 2019 Malbec Estate Selection is a combination of grapes from different GIs in the Uco Valley (55% Altamira, 25% Gualtallary and 20% Los Chacayes,) of which 70% is aged in used French barrels. A vivid violet in color. The nose offers precise and attractive notes of fresh, sour cherry and plum with expressive hints of lavender, violet and thyme. The ripeness of the grapes in each region was judged perfectly for the style. In the mouth, it is a compendium of flavors gently marshalled by fine, reactive tannins and a chalky texture that ensures good performance in the bottle. With juicy, well-integrated freshness and fruity flavor at the back of the mouth, this is a wine that has you reaching for another glass. An accomplished take on an Uco Valley Malbec. - Joaquín Hidalgo"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 94 pts
When the founding fathers of the Napa Valley carved out new sub-AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in the 1980s, Soda Canyon Ranch was not yet on anyone’s map. The vineyard is neighbored to the northwest and west by the winegrowing districts of Stags Leap District and Oak Knoll District, respectively, which were among the early pioneers of California Cabernet Sauvignon to attain global fame. To the northeast and southeast—and further off the beaten path—were Atlas Peak and Coombsville, thought to be the next frontiers for the emerging wine-producing region.
With richness and depth of flavor, the 2018 Timeless Napa Valley is the embodiment of patience and attention to detail. Decades of experience at Soda Canyon Ranch allow winemaker Nate Weis and team to highlight the individual merits of each block. Combining the strongest lots from each resulted in a refined and harmonious bottling.
In 2018, the diurnal shift at Soda Canyon Ranch produced a darker, lusher fruit profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Simultaneously, the overnight recovery periods resulted in expressive and refined Merlot, giving the wine a pleasant profile of bright, red fruit. With an extended harvest window, the signature, plush density and structure of Petit Verdot is also prevalent in the final blend. Cabernet Franc thrived in 2018 with its predilection for the cooler soils and the climate of blocks 5, 6, 16, 20 and 21—areas we call the Transition Zone and Hardpan Alley. The variety’s floral and tobacco-like aromatics are accentuated, and its more aggressive nature for back-end tannins tamed.
Once blended, the 2018 vintage rested in French oak barrels for 16 months, developing flavors of vanilla and baking spice. Velvety tannins dance across the palate of bright and lingering cassis. With a smooth finish, this is a comforting wine of elegance and depth—a sophisticated expression of the sedate summer.
This is a little old-school and shows lots of dark berry, chocolate and dried fruit. It’s full, dense and layered with fleshly sensibility. Velvety texture.
-James Suckling 93 Points
Waypoint Oakville Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sourced from blocks 7 and Summit, and expertly farmed by Phil Coturri (Harlan, Mayacamas, Landmark, Moon Mountain), comes a big but very smooth and inviting Cabernet Sauvignon with black cherry fruit, blueberries and creme de cassis notes. It’s a flawless wine, which is probably how it recently picked up a soon-to-be published
95-point Cellar Selection from Wine Enthusiast.
The 2018 Oakville Ranch checks in as 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Cabernet Franc, all brought up in 68% new barrels. A lifted, pretty perfume of violets, spring flowers, black raspberries, and cassis gives way to a medium to full-bodied, elegant 2018 that does everything right. With polished tannins and plenty of richness, enjoy this beauty any time over the coming 15+ years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Snake Oil needs a little swirling to reveal emerging notes of freshly crushed blackcurrants, blackberry pie and mulberries plus suggestions of tilled soil, cedar chest and Indian spices with a touch of roses. The full-bodied palate completely coats the mouth with opulent black fruit preserves and exotic spice layers, supported by velvety tannins and lovely freshness, finishing long and perfumed.
-Wine Advocate 93+ Points
The 2018 Priest Ranch Snake Oil is all Cabernet Sauvignon, from a trio of hillside vineyards on the Somerston Estate. It has beautiful blueberry and plum fruits as well as notes of sappy herbs, violets, and bouquet garni. More medium-bodied, focused, and elegant, it shines for its purity, freshness, and length. It’s a classic 2018 that will have 15+ years of longevity.
-Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
Our 2018 Snake Oil was handpicked, sorted, and fermented naturally, then aged for 24 months in 75% new French oak barrels and 25% once-used French oak barrels.
The early half of 2018 brought us moderate temperature allowing for a long growing season. We had a majority of our rainfall in February followed by a mild Spring. Then summer brought consistent temperatures with little heat spikes. This weather allowed for longer hang time and for the fruit to ripen at a slower rate. The 2018 harvest at our estate began in late August and resulted in exceptional quality.
Monzio Compagnoni Franciacorta Saten Brut Millesimato
Color: very deep golden yellow, often, with very abundant froth and persistent perlage of great finesse.
Scent: it has a rich spectrum of scents, it is enveloping and almost greasy without any cloyingness; there are sensations of vanilla, biscuit, licorice, anise.
Taste: in perfect correspondence with the nose, even the taste is full, rich, generous, juicy; all well balanced by an acid base that allows the sweet sensations (of ripe fruit) to express themselves without tiring the palate
The name "Saten" means Silk.
The name "Franciacorta" comes from a phrase in the 1100-1200’s for tax exempt. The phrase is "Franzacurta”….referring to tax exempt status of some local towns in Lombardy, Italy. Franziacorta became a DOC in 1967 and was granted the DOCG status in 1995. There are 2000+ hectares (5,400 acres) total for the appellation with over 100 producers. Total production for the DOCG is around 550,000 cases.
Brandlin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 76% Cabernet Sauvignon 12% Malbec 7% Cabernet Franc 2% Petit Verdot.
The 2016 vintage was a near perfect year, producing wines of opulence and intensity. The terroir of the Brandlin vineyard naturally thickens the grape skins, developing deep color and tannin while also creating remarkably small berries. Our 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon offers inky, dark fruit, and a plush mouthfeel while boasting notes of blackberry, mocha, fig, dates and dense black currant fruit accented with hints of nettle, earth and clove.
Brandlin is a Napa Valley estate that produces wine from a small, historic vineyard in the Mount Veeder appellation. The wines pay homage to the Brandlin family. As early as the 1870s, the Brandlins settled on these steep, rocky slopes, and became grape growing pioneers in Napa's Mount Veeder region. With over 50 years' of experience, Henry Brandlin staked the family’s claim to this estate and planted their own vineyards in 1926.In 1998 Cuvaison Estate Wines was honored by Henry’s son, Chester Brandlin, with rights to purchase Brandlin Vineyard. Respectfully maintaining the integrity of the estate, only a fraction of the land has been planted to vineyards carefully designed to honor the integral beauty of the property. Glens of old oak trees and sustainable viticultural practices support natural biodiversity and abundant wildlife.We brought to Brandlin Vineyard all the lessons of Cuvaison Estate Wines' 38 years of viticulture - great care in the study of sun exposures and soil types, and profound respect for the environment. Our intention is to honor the Brandlin family with a namesake vineyard that produces intense and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. - Steven Rogstad, Winemaker
This has the expressive fruit and racy spine of the vintage, mixing plum and blackberry paste flavors with a graphite edge, while extra sassafras and bramble notes add energy to the finish. Solid. Best from 2022 through 2032. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 2,226 cases made.
-Wine Spectator 93 Points
Monteagrelo Cabernet Franc has beautiful ruby red with purple highlights.
It displays aromas of ripe red berries with a nice wood smoke complexity, thanks to the aging in French oak barrels. The wine has a very good structure, but the tannins are still quite round and integrated.
Aged in French and American oak barrels for 15 months. No filtration and no fining.
The finish is very long and will allow the wine to be consumed with food, such as grilled meat or cheese.
"From the Uco Valley, the 2019 Cabernet Franc Monteagrelo was aged in French vats for 10 months. A light purple in hue, the precise, expressive nose presents notes of green pepper, blackcurrant and ash with hints of jalapeño. Smooth with a broad palate, the flow is corseted a little by the mild freshness, as is the bold finish. A delicate red of a kind you rarely see in a Cabernet Franc. - Joaquín Hidalgo"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 92 pts
Bouchard Pere & Fils Greves Vignes de L'Enfant Jesus is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
The name "Vigne de l'Enfant Jésus" refers to an old story. It is said that Marguerite du Saint Sacrement, the founding carmelite of the "Domestiques de la famille du Saint Enfant Jésus", predicted the birth of the king of France, Louis XIV, although her mother, Anne of Austria, was sterile. On the birth of the future "Roi Soleil", this exceptional vineyard which belonged to the Carmelites, took on the name "Vigne de l'Enfant Jésus". In 1791, when all national property was sold, Bouchard Père & Fils put in a bid for the vineyard, situated in the heart of the 32 hectares of the Beaune Grèves appellation, of which it still has the monopoly today.
Superb fruit and spice aromas with an oaky note on the nose. Intense, full and yet delicate on the palate, the wine has a charming velvetiness.
Pairs well with game birds, fattened chicken in cream sauce and Burgundian cheeses.
A rich, creamy-textured red with ripe-strawberry, chocolate, stone and hazelnut aromas and flavors. It’s full and layered with attractive fruit and lightly chewy yet polished tannins. Flavorful finish. Subtle, yet structured. Try after 2022.
-James Suckling 94 Points
-Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 93 Points
-Decanter 93 Points
-Wine Spectator 93 Points
Avignonesi Desiderio Merlot Toscana IGT is made from Merlot.
Avignonesi Desiderio Merlot has an explosive olfactory impact. The wide aromatic bouquet ranges from cherry and plum jam to notes of black tea, rhubarb and graphite, with small final notes of fermented tobacco. The entrance is bursting. The palate is invested by the imposing and typical structure of Tuscan Merlot, enveloping and warm. Tastefully in symbiosis with the olfactory notes, the dense and linear tannin accompanies hints of coconut and black pepper in retrolfaction.
James Suckling 94 Points